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England’s record appearance holder Fara Williams has announced she will retire at the end of the season.

The Reading midfielder, 37, won 172 caps and played at four European Championships and three World Cups.

She represented Team GB at 2012 Olympics and played for Charlton, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal during a 20-year career.

She said she made the “difficult decision” after “much consideration and despite offers to remain in the game”.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have had a career of more than 20 years within the women’s game,” Williams said.

“Playing football is all I have ever known, but I am excited for the next chapter of my life.

“I look forward to remaining within the game, pursuing opportunities within the media and continuing my coaching badges.”

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